Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#569 Phoenix Suns vs.
#570 Los Angeles Clippers
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10:05pm EDT
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Phoenix Suns will try to keep their momentum going on the road against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Thursday night.

The Suns will try to keep their winning streak alive after playing a hard-fought overtime game against the Utah Jazz last night. Phoenix comes in riding a seven-game winning streak and has now won 10 of its last 11 games to move into second place in the Western Conference with a 26-14 overall record. Meanwhile, the Clippers aren’t far behind in third place with a 34-18 mark through 52 games. Los Angeles has also been playing well as of late, winning two in a row and eight of its last 10 contests.

Can the Clippers cool off the Suns at home on Thursday evening?

Suns top Jazz in OT, extend winning streak to seven games

Phoenix escaped with a 117-113 overtime victory at home over the Utah Jazz on Wednesday behind another big night from shooting guard Devin Booker. Booker scored over 30 points from the fourth straight game, finishing with a team-high 35 points, while DeAndre Ayton added 18 points and 21 rebounds for the Suns in the win.

The Suns have assembled a strong mix of veterans to complement their talented young core. Phoenix is the only top-five NBA contender relying on three players under the age of 25 in its starting rotation. Booker, Ayton, and Mikal Bridges give Phoenix a strong foundation for the future while veterans Chris Paul and Jae Crowder bring enough experience to the table to make the Suns a legitimate NBA Finals contender.

According to dunksandthrees.com, Phoenix enters Thursday’s matchup ranked second in the NBA with an adjusted net rating of +6.6 through 50 games. The Suns have been efficient on both ends of the floor, sporting an adjusted offensive rating of 115.7, seventh in the NBA, and the fifth-best adjusted defensive rating in the league at 109.1.

Clippers looking to close the gap in Western Conference standings

Los Angeles won its second straight game on Tuesday 133-116 over the Portland Trail Blazers behind 36 points from Paul George. Kawhi Leonard finished with 29 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists for the Clippers, who shot 39 percent from behind the arc in the win.

Center DeMarcus Cousins made his Clippers debut against the Trail Blazers, finishing with seven points, four rebounds, and two assists in just eight minutes of action. Cousins, a former All-Star, is currently on a 10-day contract with the team and proved he still has plenty left in the tank for the center-hungry Clippers. Los Angeles could be a good fit for the 30-year-old big man, who has been relegated to the sidelines from rupturing his Achilles tendon in 2018. He also suffered a quadriceps tear during the first round of the playoffs in 2019, derailing a once-promising NBA career. In the near term, Cousins will provide Los Angeles with some depth up front, as he tries to battle his way into the postseason rotation.

According to dunksandthrees.com, the Clippers rank third in the NBA with an adjusted net rating of +6.5. Los Angeles owns the third-most efficient offense in the league with an adjusted 117.2 rating and it ranks ninth with an adjusted defensive rating of 110.7 through 52 contests.

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The Suns might be fatigued in this game after edging out the Jazz for a tough overtime win last night. However, Phoenix has also been one of the NBA’s hottest teams and the Suns match up well with the Clippers on paper, so I still expect this to be a hard-fought game. We’re getting six points on the road in this spot, which is just a little too hard to pass up in this spot.  Take Phoenix to cover the number in this Western Conference clash on the road at the Staples Center on Thursday night.

Prediction: Phoenix Suns +6

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These two teams are projected for 222.5 points but there should be some value on the under here given that the Suns are coming off of an overtime game and are on the second night of a back-to-back set. Meanwhile, both of these teams rank outside the top-20 in the league in average possession length and overall pace, so this should turn into a slow-paced game. Phoenix also happens to be one of the NBA’s premier defensive teams and the Suns have a pair of strong wing defenders (Crowder and Bridges) that should be able to make life tough on the Clippers’ stars. Take this game to go under the projected total on Thursday evening.

Prediction: Under 222.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.